Living as a Leatherneck Through the Years

At some point in a student’s career, they will have to live on campus. Over my time being here, I have learned that living in the residence halls has been a lot different than some of you alumni.

 To get to the bottom of my questions, I asked John Biernbaum, the Associate Vice-President for Student Services.  He has had many years of experience in the department.  He has been here since 1994.  At this time, Lincoln and Washington Halls reopened after renovations, which include single-occupancy rooms, a first for WIU students.  Over the years, Biernbaum has seen many different changes to the residential halls.

Some recent changes have been made to the university’s residence halls. As many of you probably know, Wetzel Hall was demolished this past summer. But it isn’t just the halls themselves that are changing.  Rules and regulations inside the residence halls have changed as well.

 For instance, quiet hours (when students are asked to keep quiet on the floors) in the resident’s halls have changed dramatically.  In the 1960’s, quiet hours for students were from 7:30 PM to 7:00 AM. Today, quiet hours have been changed from 10:00 PM to 11:00 AM. I think this shows how student’s lifestyle has changed over the years because many are staying up later and sleeping in longer. Another big change is by the 1970’s, resident halls were becoming more co-ed. Now, all of the residence halls are co-ed, separating the genders by floors or sides.

Across campus, as many of you know, Wetzel Hall is not the only hall that has been demolished.  In 1991, Grote Hall, a woman’s resident hall, was demolished. After this, in 1993, The South Quad (Hursh, Bennett, Lincoln, and Washington) closed. Then in late 1998, Hursh Hall was torn down.

I find all of this very interesting because it relates to students’ lifestyles and how life has changed over the decades.  I also find it important because living in residential halls is a big part of a student’s college experience.  This is where we meet new people and experience different ways of life instead of what we are use to in our hometowns.  It is a great way to broaden students’ perspectives and enjoy experiences.

 It would be great to hear about your experiences while living in the dorms at Western. I am sure there are plenty of fun stories to be told! 


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